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Pollinator Habitat Restoration on the Lake Erie Islands

The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy (LEIC) has signed a cooperative agreement with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service-Partners for Fish and Wildlife (USFWS-PFW) Program to administer $50,000 of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Interagency Great Lakes Basin Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Funds. The USFWS will coordinate with LEIC staff and partners on project site selection, technical assistance and paperwork completion. The purpose of this collaborative effort between the USFWS-PFW Program and the LEIC is to restore and enhance approximately 50 acres of habitat for the rusty patched bumble bee, on the Lake Erie Islands. Upland, wetland and shoreline habitat resources will be targeted for habitat restoration and enhancement on private and publicly owned lands located on the Lake Erie Islands (to include: Kelleys Island, Put-in-Bay, Catawba, Gibraltar, South, Middle and North Bass Islands = Project Area) in both Erie and Ottawa Counties. These islands have been identified by USFWS as 5th and/or 6th tier priority grids across the historical range of the rusty patched bumble bee. See (https://www.fws.gov/midwest/Endangered/insects/rpbb/PrioritiesMap.html).

Habitat restoration and enhancement work for this collaborative effort within the identified Project Area can include pollinator seedbed preparation on private and/or public lands, as well as planting of native grasses and wildflower seeds and installation of wildflower plugs. The GLRI funding will be used for seedbed preparation work (i.e. seedbed preparation could include disking, spraying, mowing; purchase and application of herbicide for seedbed preparation), and purchase of native grasses and wildflower seeds and plugs. This habitat restoration and enhancement work will occur in collaboration with the Lake Erie Island Pollinator Partnership Consortium, which includes several partners (i.e. Kelleys Island State Park, Kelleys Island School, Kelleys Island Field Station, Ohio State University Stone Laboratory, Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center, Lake Erie Island Conservancy, ODNR-Division of Wildlife, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative, USFWS-PFW Program).

A committee of partner organizations including these partners will be set up to evaluate potential projects and will meet this fall to talk about priorities. The LEIC will provide cost-share funding of up to $5,000 per potential pollinator habitat project. Funds for administration of the grant and monitoring of the pollinator habitat projects have been included in the $50,000 and are to be administered by the LEIC. If the pollinator habitat project is located on private property, the private landowner will sign a USFWS PFW Landowner 10-year agreement with the USFWS for oversight of the project. On all potential pollinator habitat projects funded through this grant, the landowner/s are expected to contribute towards the completion of the project, which could be in the form of additional funding needed, contribution/supply of materials, equipment usage, and/or in-kind services.

Habitat projects could include

1. Restoration of prairie and pollinator habitat for rusty patched bumble bee, Monarch butterflies, other native bees, grassland nesting birds and other local wildlife.

2. Reforestation on upland and shoreline sites to provide habitat and food resources for pollinators, migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and other wildlife.

3. Restoration of wetland habitat sites to provide habitat and food resources for pollinators, migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds and other wildlife.

Target species include pollinators like the rusty patched bumble bee, Monarch butterfly, migratory songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, Indiana Bat and Long-eared Bat.

Successful pollinator projects have already been undertaken through the Lake Erie Island Pollinator Partnership Consortium at Kelleys Island State Park, Kelleys Island Field Station and Kelleys Island School, and on Put-in-Bay, at the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center and at the Ohio State University Stone Laboratory. Chris Ashley, Jackie Taylor, Renee Fultz and Kristin Stanford worked closely with USFWS-PFW State Coordinator Lori Stevenson to complete these projects.

We are grateful to Lori Stevenson for the opportunity to collaborate and complete these pollinator habitat projects, and with her retirement at the end of September, we look forward to continuing this important pollinator habitat work while coordinating with USFWS PFW Private Lands Biologist Jeff Finn from Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.

Please contact Lisa Brohl, LEIC, at 419-366-2087 or leiconservancy@gmail.com with any questions or if you have an area where you would like to restore/enhance and/or increase pollinator or wildlife habitat.


Northwest Ohio Giving Tuesday 2021 for Lake Erie Islands Conservancy

Our Lake Erie Islands Conservancy will be celebrating Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy will be eligible for a chance in a drawing for $5,000 from the Toledo Community Foundation by participating in Giving Tuesday.

Any check sent to us dated November 30, 2020 to LEIC, P. O. Box 461, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456 (Giving Tuesday on memo line) or any amount donated to us via our PayPal on our www.lakeerieislandsconservancy.org or through our Facebook account can be used to qualify us for the drawing. The donation can be earmarked for stewardship or land protection or just for our general fund!

It has been a busy last few years with the addition of new preserves like the Cooper’s and Benjamin Woods Preserves on South Bass and the Cleveland Tract at the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve. The Conservancy has also been involved in securing interpretive signage and benches for our preserves. Join us in continuing to make this all happen! Any questions, contact Lisa Brohl at 419-366-2087 or leiconservancy@gmail.com


Thank You!

Thanks from the Put-in-Bay Township Park District. The Park District was presented with a check at the Put-in-Bay Township Property Owners Association meeting at Perry’s Cave in September. Thanks for the donation toward the replacement of the vandalized Put-in-Bay StoryWalk® stops at the Dodge Woods Preserve! The Scheible-Downing American Legion Post also donated to the repair of the Put-in-Bay StoryWalk® posts/signs. Mark LeKanka installed them quickly for the Park District so the StoryWalk® is back in action again!! Thanks everyone!



The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.

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